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British MPs, Chief Ndiweni, Haruzivishe in UK protest; tens besiege Zimbabwe House demanding end to Sikhala’s yearlong incarceration 

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By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent


BRITISH Parliamentarians Catherine Hoey and Jonathan Oates Wednesday joined over 70 Zimbabweans at Parliament Square, London to protest the year-long incarceration of local lawmaker Job Sikhala in Harare.

Sikhala clocked 365 days in pretrial detention this week after his arrest on charges of inciting public violence, with no indication of the judiciary considering releasing him.

Efforts to have him granted bail by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have hit a brick wall 15 times.

Hoey and Oates joined pro-democracy activist Makomborero Haruzivishe who at one point spent 10 months at the same prison Sikhala is being kept and Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni, another one of those hounded out of the country by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

Hoey and Oates have constantly led the UK Parliament in highlighting disrespect of basic human rights by the Zanu PF government over the years.

“Joined with Oates to support the protest. Job Sikhala held for one year without bail. A brave opposition MP in Zimbabwe where the rule of law is broken and Mnangagwa allows corruption and uses violence to silence critics,” said Hoey after the demonstration.

A lengthy open letter written by Sikhala to mark the year in jail revealed a man ready to ride the tide for democracy.

Sikhala vowed to continue fighting for his cause ‘even if it costs him his life.’

“Let me reassure you, I will stand with the people even if it costs my freedom. I will stand with the people even if it costs my professional and political career. I will stand with the people even if it costs my blood. No one should be mistaken to think otherwise,” read Sikhala’s letter.

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Sikhala was arrested days after people in satellite Chitungwiza town broke into massive protests after the gruesome murder of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter Moreblessing Ali.

Her decomposing dismembered body was found days after her killing, dumped in a disused well belonging to the alleged perpetrator Pius Jamba’s mother.

Ali is yet to be buried. Her family has not been granted access to her remains and after a year do not know whether the state has buried her or not.